A crappy task

Bonnewagon

Bonnewagon

Geezer
Sep 18, 2009
6,239
113
Queens, NY
Sorry Fleming. Just showing what is possible. To para-phrase the Blues Brothers- "It's got a Firebird mill, a Firebird transmission, a Firebird shifter, Firebird console, a Firebird steering wheel, Firebird seats, and it has no catalytic converters so it runs good on regular gas". Ha Ha. But I got the rod end linkage and it looks to be super adjustable. I was reading up on linkage geometry in Tom Monroe's Clutch And Flywheel handbook. Right now I have low pedal effort but excessive pedal travel. I can change that by drilling another hole in the clutch pedal arm to lower the pushrod away from the pivot point thereby increasing effort and decreasing travel. But I would need to carefully measure everything to get my total pedal ratio from pedal to clutch fork. I think I can get away with that as I am using a bent finger diaphragm clutch which gets easier to depress as it progresses through it's travel. Right now I can fully depress the clutch pedal with my hand, that's how much leverage there is in the linkage. So while the snow falls I can investigate my options and do some math calculations. Stay tuned.
 
Bonnewagon

Bonnewagon

Geezer
Sep 18, 2009
6,239
113
Queens, NY
I got the car up in the air again before the latest deluge. I played with the adjustable pivot ball and I found that when I moved the ball farther from the clutch I got better geometry at the fork window and throw out bearing. I can't move it too far back because then the lock nut would have no threads, so I stopped when the nut was against the housing. Now I have the proper free play and my foot is a couple of inches from the floor at full disengagement. Finally. I knew it was a geometry problem but I did not know the pivot location was so important. Everything works off that so it was a logical start. Now I can plan to put the spherical rod end linkage in. The only thing I don't like is the push rod that engages the clutch fork is too small and pointy. Why do they do that? I like a fat ball end rod. I had been using a Hayes push rod that had the big fat ball end but it was too big to screw on to the new linkage. So today I scrounged up a threaded sleeve that had 3/8-24 threads at one end like the Hayes rod. The other end was very small but I drilled and tapped it for 5/16-24 threads like those that were on the linkage. So I can screw that sleeve on the new linkage push rod, and the the other end on the Hayes rod for the set up I like. Once the rain ends I can measure and cut the parts for the best fit.
 
Bonnewagon

Bonnewagon

Geezer
Sep 18, 2009
6,239
113
Queens, NY
Here is what I did about the tiny pointy clutch rod end. To do what I mentioned above I would need to cut the Hays rod and I am not willing to do that. If I could get another I would but it is totally unobtainable. The only reason I know it is a Hays is because Tom Monroe's Clutch And Flywheel handbook has a picture of it and a recommendation to use it as an upgrade. AFAIK it is the only one in existance and I got it when I bought a milk crate of shifter rods at Englishtown about 30 years ago. So I found an idea while poking around and here it is- an acorn nut. Yup, I scrounged up a couple, one was already 5/16-24 and the other I re-tapped for that. I will use whichever fits the clutch fork best. It screws right on the end of the Speed Direct adjustable linkage. I wish it was hardened like the Hays 4140 steel but if it works I can proceed from there. If anyone has one of these Hays rods PM me and I will buy it. See the small threaded end? The acorn spreads the load better.
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Bonnewagon

Bonnewagon

Geezer
Sep 18, 2009
6,239
113
Queens, NY
Wow guys, ex-mailman or not, it's friggin' COLD out. But it's dry so out I go. Today I took out the stock pedal rod and fork push rod. The instructions said to assemble the replacement rods to match the factory stuff. Sounds easy. The fork rod was the first as it has the least space for error. It went together pretty easy. See the big fat ended Hays rod end? That thing is over 30 years old that I know of and shows no wear at all. That is why I used the cap nut and did not cut the rare Hays part. Look how wasted the other end is and that is not so old at all. That is the so called "BBC" style and the reason for the upgrade to the Heim joint kit.
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I wanted to shorten it and make up for the length up top, but no good. I found that there is an arc of travel for the lower part of the Z-bar and since the fork is not changing position then shortening the rod results in less arc. So the factory had a purpose for the lengths of the rods. No problemo- I used the stock length and it fit well. One end of the center part is reverse threaded so you turn it one way and both ends expand/contract. EZPZ.
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Then I went up top and that is where I ran into trouble. I assembled the new rod the same length as the factory rod. That was fine and it went into and through the firewall bellows easily. But when I tried to get the fasteners on I ran into severe space limitations. NO ROOM TO WORK! I took off the washer fluid reservoir and that helped a lot but I wish the power booster/master was off too. And inside under the dash? YIKES!!! Good luck fitting the bolts in place and getting the nuts on. I got it done only with a combination of long nose pliers, magnet-on-a-stick, flexible trouble light, and much swearing. Now the biggest problem, matching the fitment of the stock piece. The problem is that the joints turn, so you can clearance everything down there. But the rod ends also turn a bit. There is an angle called the "limit of mis-alignment" that alows the join to pivot a bit without stressing it. But that lets the entire pedal rod pivot some. It is vary hard to get it all lined up and then tighten the lock nuts without anything moving. Then when you think it is perfect, you depress the pedal and it all moves. It's like it seeks it's own position relative to the clutch pedal and Z-bar. When you get one end perfect the other looks off. I wonder if that is why the upper rod wears so fast- because it wants to turn and can't? I figure as long as it is withing the mis-alignment limit it should be fine. When it warms up I can take another look at it. Having a helper hold things steady would be a plus. For now it is in and working well.
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Bonnewagon

Bonnewagon

Geezer
Sep 18, 2009
6,239
113
Queens, NY
I had those on the 67.
When you put the upper rod on, was it straight? I look at the stock rod and it looks like the two mounting points are on the same plane. But this one wants to be c*ck-eyed. Maybe my body is not square to my frame? Or my Z-bar is not square? Hard to tell and my frozen feet won't let me spend the time right now.
 
fleming442

fleming442

Geezer
Dec 26, 2013
6,923
113
Honestly, I can't remember. My frame is tweaked (diamond-ed) and I kept breaking z-bars, so I went hydraulic. I was going to offer you my set, but it's not a set anymore because I used the short one for my clutch m/c pushrod.
 
Bonnewagon

Bonnewagon

Geezer
Sep 18, 2009
6,239
113
Queens, NY
My upper arm started to tear off but I caught it. If you look closely at my Z-bar you can see where I re-inforced it. I completely removed, stripped, and cleaned it. Then I slid a big washer down the shaft to rest against the arm. Then I welded it all together. Now it has 360° of support. I did that on both arms. Lasted 25 years so far. A tip o' the Hatlo hat to Tom Monroe for that idea.
 
olds307 and 403

olds307 and 403

Comic Book Super Hero
Oct 14, 2008
4,788
113
Melville,Saskatchewan
Thank you for reminding me why an automatic is the way to go on the cars I own:). I was pondering a T-5 swap in the 88, I know where a 4th gen F body V6 WC trans sits. Wow a lot of pissing around but it will drive as smooth as butter when done I am sure. At least solutions exist to geometry and free play. You need that machine all ready for fishing, fingers crossed.
 
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Bonnewagon

Bonnewagon

Geezer
Sep 18, 2009
6,239
113
Queens, NY
I drove it today and yes, smooth as butter. It never shifted so smoothly before. The slight whine I heard is gone so I guess that was the throw out bearing beginning to make itself heard. Good timing all around. Then I took another look at the factory upper rod. There is an offset at each end. About 1/2" to port at the Z-bar and 3/4" to starboard at the pedal. That "should" cancel itself out give or take 1/4". But that affects the position of the rod going through the firewall. Looking at it gets me concerned but I feel nothing at my foot. In fact it feels as good as ever. The important thing is I know that nothing is rubbing to the point of failure anymore. Now I need to test the speedometer for accuracy. Normally I get someone to follow on the highway and they turn their flashers on at 60mph. But nowadays there are radar set ups everywhere telling you "Speed limit 25mph and your speed is...." so I will go find one.
 

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